Sexual Double Standards Still Exist
The recent backlash from Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe’s sex escapade with Nick Viali, one of the finalists on her ABC TV show, has reopened the wound of the sexual double standard. For the last five years I’ve been interviewing men from the age of twenty-nine to seventy for a book I’m writing, “One Hundred Interviews with Men on Sex, Power and Intimacy.” I’m old fashion because of my generation, but I’m certainly not judgmental, I have a modern daughter and I’ve had to adjust. So I thought when I sat down to ask men if they judged a woman for first date sex I would get an evolved response. Their first words didn’t disappoint, “Of course not,” but that statement was immediately followed by one word that is famous for deleting everything that came before it, that word is . . .“but” . . . “but I’ve never had a long-term relationship with anyone who did” or, “I’d never take her home to meet mom.” If you’re shocked, I understand. The picture of today’s dating scene doesn’t match its underbelly. Sex is available because women are liberated and men have welcomed them with open arms. However, what women don’t know is that beyond that perfect, romantic evening that ended in bed, is a question that could be a deal breaker, that question is, “Does she do it with everyone?” If you’re searching for meaning, don’t try too hard, it’s simple, men don’t feel special when sex is easy.
Most men are emotionally insecure. They’ve been asked, since childhood, not to show their emotions, not to cry, to be strong and man up. Men don’t trust their feelings; they trust money, power and success. It’s what the world values, not their sensitive side. They erroneously believe that if they are super successful, they’ll have it all and be happy. Doesn’t the little nerdy guy get the model when his net worth goes up? What amazed me more than the sexual double standard was how little some men cared if a woman was with them for money and power – it’s something they value and so its easy to forgive. And besides, they trust that more than love. Offering your heart can lead to a broken one. One man told me that whenever he’s rejected, he tells himself, “If I had more money she’d never have left.” For men, money seems to be a stronger glue than their hearts.
Competition is in a man’s DNA. They are struggling to stand out, be noticed and valued. They want to feel special, either because they’re rich, powerful, sexy, a fabulous athlete, or the funniest person at a dinner party, it doesn’t matter as long as they stand out. If a woman gives in on a first date, there’s no one to conquer, nothing to fight for, no one to impress. Men want to win you, when you hand them the prize too soon, they feel robbed and they move on.
The double standard is in place for a reason other than tradition; men rely on women for their moral standards. Men can’t trust themselves to do the right thing when lust is activated. It’s a woman’s job to keep a man on the straight and narrow. Men can be players, but a woman has to be pure. In fact, the more deceitful a man, the more he expects his women to be loyal, sincere and someone he can trust.
The truth is Kaitlyn would have been judged a lot less severely for hooking up with a man for money, rather than for emotions and sex. The fact that she is a modern woman who expects less of a double standard is reasonable, until you push below the surface and realize we’re not as advanced as we thought we were. Women are still judged for having sex too often or too soon. The old stereotypes won’t disappear until they’re challenged. It’s the one good thing that has come out of a scandal that should never have happened.